Parting Gifts

     “Parting gifts,” we joked.
     In my head, thanks for playing, not so much a joke because it wasn’t funny. We had dated for two years, and now we were at the end of the relationship.
     Those two years had been “Perfect.” We got along great, had parallel goals. We even wanted the same number of children. I believed that I was going to marry her.
     Strange how things work out.
     We decided that we would both take the high road. We had two good years, and now the time had come to put all that aside and get on with our lives. We just weren’t meant to be.
     So now, parting gifts.
     I got her a CD player for her car.
     She got me a PlayStation.
     Our “ceremony” was surreal, emotionless. We were never good at revealing our emotions. Our courting period consisted mainly of messages sent to each other over the university’s mainframe. Eventually, our shyness in real life dissolved as we grew to know each other through the awkward, arcane syntax of CMS. Every night, on monochrome screens we would talk about everything, nothing.

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     In a not so awkward moment in my dorm’s study room, we finally revealed how we felt for one another. After that, we spent all of our free time together.
     Then, a year later, in a wonderful colliding of worlds, I found out that she was a Jehovah’s Witness. I wasn’t allowed to date her. We continued seeing each other. An illicit affair, continued despite the fact that her father forbade it.
     Another year passed and finally, there was a reckoning. Either I become a Witness and study with them, or she had to leave. She loved me, she said, but she couldn’t leave her family. Filial piety, after all, is a difficult cross to bear.
     Of course, I agreed with her. It was the only logical thing to do. My own sense of filial piety made me nod my head and tell her that it was the right thing to do. Her family was more important than our happiness together. It was simple.
     We cried.
     In retrospect, things were not so simple. What if I had studied and become a Witness? What if she had continued to date me in spite of her father’s command? Things, most certainly, could have been different.
     Then again, I’d be out one PlayStation.